April 28, 2013

Great Moments In Hockey History: Sudden Death Hill's Heroics


The year is 1939. The NHL introduced the best-of-seven playoff format. The Boston Bruins knock off the Toronto Maple Leafs to win the Stanley Cup, 4 games to 1.

The Bruins are loaded with stars like Milt SchmidtFrank BrimsekEddie ShoreDit ClapperBill Cowley and captain Cooney Weiland.

But they were all overshadowed by little known Mel Hill in the semi-final round.

The Bruins and New York Rangers went the distance in the qualifying round for the Stanley Cup finals. Not only did the teams go seven games, but 6 of the games went into overtime. By the end the teams played the equivalent of 9 games!

Game 7 went into triple overtime. Cue our hero, Mel Hill. Hill, on a beautiful set up by center Bill Cowley, would score a sudden-death goal 8 minutes into the third extra stanza, giving the Bruins a 2-1 win and a berth in the finals.

For Hill it was his third overtime winning goal of that BOS-NYR series! Needless to say, he would go down in history best known by his new nickname - Sudden Death Mel Hill.

Special mention should also go to Hill's linemates Cowley and Roy Conacher. In the 5 game final series against Toronto Cowley had seven assists while Conacher had 5 goals and 7 points, both records for rookies.

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